Wolverine (3rd series) #21

Issue Date: 
December 2004
Story Title: 
Enemy of the State - part 2

Mark Millar (writer), John Romita Jr. (pencils), Klaus Janson (inkers), Paul Mounts (colors), Virtual Calligraphy’s Rus Wooton (letters), Jennifer Lee (editor), Axel Alonso (exc. editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Cory Sedlmeier (special thanks)

Brief Description: 

Aboard a S.H.I.E.L.D. aircraft carrier, Wolverine fights the mental tampering of HYDRA, as Elektra and a troop of security officers prepare to fight him. He is unable to combat the orders being barked at him by the HYDRA commander's voice in his head, and brutally slaughters the entire unit in front of him, as Elektra realizes that she cannot take him down. However, she does try to pin him by stabbing him through his deltoid muscles - but Wolverine's backup plan kicks in, as a massive explosion rocks the ship, beginning to sink it. The crew is sucked out to sea, while Elektra survives by being pulled to safety later. Wolverine fights his way through a pack of sharks, not to be seen again. Too late, Fury realizes that Wolverine has just made off with the S.H.I.E.L.D. database aboard that ship, meaning that no superhuman in the world is safe from HYDRA. The President of the United States is brought aboard Helicarrier One, while all superhumans are warned to take extra security precautions. At the Xavier Institute, Kitty and Storm tuck the children into bed in the center of the mansion, surrounded by security devices, and pray for Logan's return, as they believe him dead from his trip to Japan over a month ago. At the Baxter Building, the employees are ordered to evacuate, while Thing checks all of the security, finding it clear. However, Wolverine is already inside the building, hiding in the ventilation system...

Full Summary: 

S.H.I.E.L.D. carrier - South Atlantic Ocean - Without thinking, the S.H.I.E.L.D. security detail raises its guns at Wolverine and opens fire. Wolverine hears his own conscience in the back of his head, telling him that these people are innocent, and only reacting to duty - but that doesn't prevent him from tearing through each one of them.
As the commander begins to panic, Elektra reminds him that she warned them not to fire. Wolverine is frightened and mortified of what he is doing, but can't control himself. A second voice in his head insists that he keep going, in the name of HYDRA.
The S.H.I.E.L.D. commander begs Elektra to jump in and help, but she insists that she has to wait, as she will only get one chance to stop Wolverine. She finally moves, and in a flurry of red leather, she draws her sai and plunges them through Wolverine's shoulders, causing his arms to lock and his body to fall numb. Wolverine is grateful that Elektra stopped him, but is unable to respond to her questions or even growl in pain, as HYDRA's control over his mind is complete. The voice in his head chastises Elektra as a traitor to the cause, while reminding him that they have been fighting for one hundred and fifteen seconds now - long enough for Plan B to activate.

A massive explosion rocks the ship, killing most of the remaining crew below decks. Elektra is knocked off of Wolverine's back, setting him free again. Logan tears through her sai, hoping that she'll find a way to escape before he's forced to kill her. Elektra laughs at Logan, and uses the broken pieces of her daggers to stab through his neck. Wolverine starts to worry that he'll fail in his mission, and wonders where the payoff of the explosion is. It comes - the ship starts to split in two, and water begins flooding the deck. Elektra is washed away from Wolverine, and the mutant swims free.
Above, most of the senior officers make it to safety, jumping into the lifeboats. Elektra and Wolverine are trapped underneath the hull. Logan swims to safety above water, escaping the piles of corpses littering the hallways. Elektra nearly gets caught in the pile, but manages to pull herself free and find an air pocket. Before Logan leaves, the HYDRA voice kicks in and forces him to lock the door that would allow Elektra to escape. His conscience is mortified at what he is doing, but he is forced to lock the hatch, hoping that she will find another way out. He disappears through a hull breach, finding a pack of great white sharks beginning to gnaw on the crewmen. Logan begins tearing into the sharks so that he can escape. Meanwhile, Elektra finds a radiation containment suit with an air supply, allowing her time to breathe and find another way out.

Later, S.H.I.E.L.D. helicopters arrive to evacuate the survivors. Elektra warns the acting commander that security has been breached. An investigation proves her correct: Wolverine managed to download all U.S. security files before escaping the ship. Elektra says that S.H.I.E.L.D. didn't find Wolverine; rather, Wolverine found them.

Manhattan, 24 hours later - Aboard a S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier, Col. Nick Fury briefs his senior staff on existing information. When asked if Wolverine could be dead, Fury replies that there is no chance of that - He has been in contact with the X-Men, and Emma Frost has reported Wolverine's brainwaves somewhere nearby, but is unable to pinpoint a location. Fury introduces Elektra, and lets his crew know that she is a specialist in the terrorist ninja organization "The Hand," the co-plotters of this crime along with HYDRA and the Brotherhood. Elektra informs them all that the Hand rules it's victims by first killing them, then bringing them back to life with their rituals. After this, the victims do as they're told. Elektra says that this turns them into a form of zombie - and this is EXACTLY what happened to Wolverine. Fury brings up some more files on the viewscreen, this time from the bust made in Minneapolis a few days earlier. As it turns out, the superhumans on HYDRA's list weren't targeted for assassination, they were targeted for Hand reanimation. Fury orders that all costumed operatives be put on high alert, and all civilian staff of super-hero bases be evacuated. An officer advises Fury that the President is already being shipped to the Helicarrier for safety.

Aside, Elektra smiles grimly, telling Fury that this whole incident can be referred to as "karma" - if you turn a man into the ultimate living weapon, you can't complain if someone else gets their hands on the trigger. Fury scowls at Elektra. At that moment, Air Force One arrives on board, giving Fury cause for a smile.

Xavier Institute, Westchester - In the mansion's sitting room, Kitty Pryde tells all of the children that they must sleep there for the night. The kids moan and complain, but Kitty says that they can't leave while the security systems are on. She promises them that Emma will put them all to sleep by 10 o'clock. Kitty returns to her bedroom, where Storm is packing her belongings. Kitty leans against a wall, looking at an altar she made for Peter. She hopes that her prayers for Wolverine's return work as well as they did for Colossus.

Baxter Building, Manhattan - Two employees of the Fantastic Four have packed up their belongings at the end of the night, but are wondering why they have to evacuate, as they figure that a building containing four superheroes should be a safe place. They talk about their experiences in the Four's employment - one of them jokes that he threw up the first time he saw Reed Richards curled into a rubber ball. The other complains that the monster they're hiding from can't be as bad as the orange Thing upstairs. As they talk, they notice the Invisible Woman walking by, as a trail of water is dragged in by transparent footprints.

In the security room, Thing checks the locations of the team and of Franklin and Valeria, and once satisfied, activates a forcefield which contains the Baxter Building. Nothing will be able to leave or enter until S.H.I.E.L.D. gives clearance.

Unfortunately for them, Wolverine is already hiding in the ventilation system above.

"Ninety percent of all accidents happen at home, bub."

Characters Involved: 


Emma Frost, Shadowcat, Storm (X-Men)

Nick Fury

Elektra Natchios

Invisible Woman, Thing (Fantastic Four)

Story Notes: 

In this issue, there are two distinct voices in Wolverine's head. The yellow boxes denote Wolverine's own conscience, which he is unable to act on, while the green boxes denote the thoughts of Wolverine caused by his reprogramming.

Colossus was revealed alive in Astonishing X-Men (3rd series) #4. He sacrificed his life to cure the Legacy Virus in Uncanny X-Men #390.

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